More South Sudan top officials quit, join rebels

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Kampala.  A South Sudan minister has resigned from President Salvar Kiir’s government days after a top military official also quit.

Labour Minister Gabriel Duop Lam resigned from his position accusing the Mr Kiir’s government of failing to address the country’s problems.

Worse accusations were raised by Lt Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the Deputy Chief Staff for Logistics in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in a February 11 letter.

Gen Cirillo accused President Kiir of “disgracing the office of the republic” and “failing the people of South Sudan”.

Mr Lam said he is leaving the government to rejoin a faction of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. The SPLA-IO faction (SPLA in Opposition) is loyal to former First Vice President Riek Machar, the leader of rebel forces that have fought Kiir’s government since December 2013.

The Voice of America quoted South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei as having confirmed Lam’s defection.

“The minister of labor, public service and human resource development, Mr. Gabriel Duop Lam, has defected,” Makuei said. “And earlier, his deputy has defected,” he said, referring to former Deputy Labour Minister Nasike Allan Lochul, who resigned in December.

Other politicians and military officials have recently quit the leadership of Africa’s youngest country or are said to have plans to leave.

Thousands have died and millions displaced since violence erupted in Juba in December, 2013.

The latest figure by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR puts the number of refugees who have fled South Sudan at more than 1.5 million, with more than half a million in Uganda. Institutions such as schools have also been affected in the latest wave of violence.

Military court chief resigns

In a February 17 letter to SPLA Chief of Staff Paul Malong, Col  Khalid Ono Loki, the head South Sudan’s Military Courts quit citing  absence of “ justice” in the country’s judiciary.

Colonel Loki also accused Gen Malong of running  parallel kangaroo courts. “Mr. Chief [Malong], you have often avoided the current courts, tried officers on your own, whilst, crafting and forming alien ones paradoxical to the existent established courts which are in conformity with the law. Your un-qualified clique of friends and relatives who dangerously arrest and sentence as you so wish and command have never attended any law school to carry such responsibility,” Col Loki said.

He also accused Gen Malong and those close to him of releasing convicts at will without following the due process of the law.

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